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Documentary DVD Discussion Revised Edn: Includes Guide to Academy Award Docs


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#1 of 24 TimJS

TimJS

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Posted December 29 2004 - 11:05 AM

I am moving the initial post to post number 15 and will use this space from this point forward to announce updates. I have “archived” the January 31st update at the bottom of the thread.

UPDATE for March 5, 2006

Changed Crumb, One Day In September, & A Great Day In Harlem to reflect the current releases (September is, I believe, new artwork only). Added Harlen County, U.S.A. & this year’s Academy Award Winner, March Of The Penguins.

The Independent Spirit Awards were handed out last night,
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Director: Alex Gibney won Best Documentary while Occupation: Dreamland Directors: Garrett Scott & Ian Olds won the Truer Than Fiction Award (purpose is to foster wider appreciation and theatrical distribution of nonfiction feature-length motion pictures)…tragically, Garrett Scott passed away last week (03/02/2006). I describe both films and their availability on DVD on post #22 below. Since that posting, however, Occupation: Dreamland has received wider distribution and is available beginning Tuesday from Amazon.

I just discovered a new(ish) DVD label, Passion River. On March 21st, Passion River will release a disc featuring three Academy Award nominated shorts, Hardwood / Ryan / Sunrise Over Tiananmen Square (Hardwood & Tiananmen are doc short subjects). As a side note, the animated Ryan is available along with the documentary, Alter Egos, in a SE released last year from Rhino video.

Tim


#2 of 24 TimJS

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Posted December 29 2004 - 11:06 AM

**35 Years of Academy Award Winning Documentaries, DVD Availability Chart**

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March of the Penguins (Winner 2005)

In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins to find the perfect mate and start a family. This courtship will begin with a long journey - a journey that will take them hundreds of miles across the continent by foot, in freezing cold temperatures, in brittle, icy winds and through deep, treacherous waters. They will risk starvation and attack by dangerous predators, under the harshest conditions on earth, all to find true love.

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Posted Image
Born Into Brothels (Winner 2004)

Admist the apparent growing prosperity of India, there is a dark underbelly of poverty of another side of the nation that is little known. This film is a chronicle of filmmakers Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman's efforts to show that world of Calcutta's red light district. To do that, they inspired a special group of children of the prostitutes of the area to photograph the most reluctant subjects of it. As the kids excel in their new found art, the filmmakers struggle to help them have a chance for a better life away from the miserable poverty that threatens to crush their dreams.

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Posted Image
The Fog of War - Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (Winner 2003)

The Fog of War, the movie that finally won Errol Morris the best documentary Oscar, is a spellbinder. Morris interviews Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and finds a uniquely unsettling viewpoint on much of 20th-century American history. Employing a ton of archival material, including LBJ's fascinating taped conversations from the Oval Office, Morris probes the reasons behind the U.S. commitment to the Vietnam War--and finds a depressingly inconsistent policy. McNamara himself emerges as--well, not exactly apologetic, but clearly haunted by the what-ifs of Vietnam. He also mulls the bombing of Japan in World War II and the Cuban Missile Crisis, raising more questions than he answers. The Fog of War has the usual inexorable Morris momentum, aided by an uneasy Philip Glass score. This movie provides a glimpse inside government. It also encourages skepticism about same.

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Posted Image

Bowling for Columbine (Winner 2002)

Michael Moore's superb documentary (following in the footsteps of Roger & Me and The Big One) tackles a meaty subject: gun control. Moore skillfully lays out arguments surrounding the issue and short-circuits them all, leaving one impossible question: why do Americans kill each other more often than people in any other democratic nation? Moore focuses his quest around the shootings at Columbine High School and the shooting of one 6-year-old by another near his own hometown of Flint, Michigan. By approaching the headquarters of K-Mart (where the Columbine shooters bought their ammo) and going to Charlton Heston's own home, Moore demands accountability from the forces that support unrestricted gun sales in the U.S. His arguments are conducted with the humor and empathy that have made Moore more than just a gadfly; he's become a genuine voice of reason in a world driven by fear and greed.

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Posted Image
Murder on a Sunday Morning (Winner 2001)

The Academy Award-winning documentary Murder on a Sunday Afternoon, which originally aired on HBO as part of its America Undercover series, is a troubling look at modern police investigation that unfolds in a story as compelling and suspenseful as any fictional drama. French director Jean-Xavier De Lestrade's intimate camerawork pulls viewers into the jury box to help decide the fate of 15-year-old Brenton Butler, a black resident of Jacksonville, Florida, who becomes the prime suspect in the shooting death of an elderly white woman simply because he was seen in the vicinity of the crime. Butler's attorney, a magnetic public defender named Patrick McGuinness, must pit his legal skills against a mountain of shoddy investigative work and corruption to save his client from life in prison. Similar in intent to HBO's Paradise Lost, Murder's white-knuckled pacing and a wealth of courtroom fireworks should leave true-crime and documentary fans breathless--and angry.

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Posted ImageInto the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (Winner 2000)

This Academy Award®-winning documentary (produced with the cooperation of the United States Holocaust Museum) chronicles one of the lesser-known stories of the Holocaust: that of the kindertransport, which saved the lives of 10,000 Jewish children. In the late 1930s, England agreed to accept these children seeking refuge from Nazi oppression. They were placed in foster homes and hostels. Narrated by Dame Judi Dench and directed by Mark Jonathan Harris (who received an Oscar® for his 1997 Holocaust documentary The Long Way Home), this devastating and deeply moving film bears witness to the kindness of these "simply wonderful people" and to the resilience of the kinder, now elderly, who recall in haunting stories the unimaginable grief of being suddenly torn from their parents, the trauma of not knowing whether they would ever see them again, and the difficulties some faced in their new homes. Recalls one, "None of the foster parents with whom I stayed could stand me for very long. But all of them had the grace to take in a Jewish child." But despite having their youth uprooted, many possess an indomitable spirit. One woman speaks of devoting her adult life to human rights and social justice causes. "I can't pay back or thank some of the people who helped me," she states, "But I can do something for other people."

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Posted ImageOne Day in September (Winner 1999)

On September 5, 1972, eight Palestinian terrorists killed two Israeli athletes and took nine others hostage at the Munich Olympic Village. The event stopped the games, gripped the world, and perhaps for the first time fully illustrated the volatile state of affairs in the Mideast to the world. Kevin Macdonald's 1999 Academy Award®-winning documentary painstakingly reconstructs the events, shedding light on what the world saw on television with the exasperating revelation of behind-the-scenes blunders.

This visceral, tense film uses riveting news footage to great effect, weaving in affecting interviews. Macdonald mourns the deaths of the innocent Olympic hostages and dutifully gives a voice to the Palestinian cause through interviews with Jamal al-Gashey, the only survivor of the eight terrorists, who briefly came out of hiding for the film. He earnestly but half-heartedly sketches a picture of the social and political situation that fueled the act, reserving his anger for the grossly unprepared German police force. The tragedy that erupted at the Fürstenfeldbruck air base becomes all the more upsetting in light of the incompetence and unforgivable mistakes: botched rescues, poor planning, bad intelligence, and lack of contingency plans. Even the irresponsibility of the media circus gets off lightly. It's a sobering, angering, often frustrating piece of non-fiction cinema, a thorough piece of historical research brought to life with an angry immediacy. Macdonald simply doesn't know what lessons to draw from it all.


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Posted ImageThe Last Days (Winner 1998)

In the last year of World War II, German defeat was inevitable. Yet rather than reinforcing his troops and focusing his efforts on battle, Hitler chose to renew his campaign to eliminate the Jews of Europe. Hungary, which had remained mostly untouched during the war, found her Jews being rounded up and shipped off to concentration camps where they were systematically and brutally killed during these last days. This documentary, directed by James Moll and produced through the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, whose goal is to document the memories of those who lived through the Holocaust, records the stories of five Hungarian Jews who managed to survive.

While the stories are tragic and watching this documentary is a tearful experience, the final message is one of hope, as the five people return to Hungary and the camps with their families to confront their pasts and say their prayers. While the occasionally graphic footage will disturb, this Oscar-winning film is one that should be shared with family as a way of educating and reminding us, "Never again."


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Posted ImageThe Long Way Home (Winner 1997)

As Allied troops liberated Nazi concentration camps in the final weeks of World War II, the trials of the Jews in Europe were hardly over. The end of the war brought extreme deprivation and even, in some places, further violence directed against survivors of the Holocaust. This documentary tells the story of the struggle European Jews faced in trying to reach Palestine, which they hoped would become the new Jewish homeland. Archival footage documents how Jews literally walked across snow-clogged mountain passes to reach the Mediterranean. In Italian ports they boarded overcrowded freighters and tried to slip past the blockage of Palestine, which was then controlled by Britain. The physical hardships were only part of the problem, and The Long Way Home does a fine job of describing the complicated political dealings that involved the United Nations, the U.S. administration of Harry Truman, and, of course, the Arab states that were hostile to the very idea of the country of Israel. Drawing on letters, diaries, and oral histories of participants, as well as interviews with Holocaust survivors and those who volunteered to help the fledgling Zionist state, an inspiring human story of courage and fortitude emerges in the course of this moving and fascinating film.


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Posted ImageWhen We Were Kings (Winner 1996) OOP

Decades ago, documentary filmmaker Leon Gast attempted to complete a feature about the 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" championship bout between boxers Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire. Sundry complications, though, held up the project until its release in 1996. It was well worth the delay. From Gast's perspective of modern history, the six weeks Ali and Foreman were forced to spend waiting in Africa for their fight to take place now looks like an important moment in America's cultural understanding of African American roots. In a nutshell, Ali had been stripped of his heavyweight champion title because his opposition to the Vietnam War-era draft had landed him in prison. Reigning champ Foreman agreed to a Don King-promoted match in Kinshasa, but after all parties got there the fight was put off. Gast captures the charismatic Ali, in the ensuing days and weeks, going out among the people and getting to know them while the more reclusive Foreman keeps to his own company. Meanwhile, King brings over black American artists such as James Brown and the Spinners to mix it up with African musicians. The sense of excitement and connection is thrilling, as is the boxing footage of Foreman and Ali finally taking swings at one another in a titanic duel. Writers George Plimpton and Norman Mailer, each of whom was covering the fight as journalists, are on hand to recollect the details. Whether you're a fight fan or not, this is a unique experience and a fascinating insight into America's sense of identity.

DVD appears to be out of print, but available from some retailers.


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Posted ImageAnne Frank Remembered (Winner 1995)

Anne Frank has not been forgotten. More than 25 million copies of her diary--which has been turned into a play and a movie--have been sold. This intense, richly detailed documentary paints a broad portrait of Anne. Documentaries are a dime a dozen, but few stories are as truly powerful, as sincerely moving and poignant as Anne's. Director Jon Blair does a phenomenal job with this carefully detailed, thoughtful, emotional film (his previous documentary on Oskar Schindler so captivated Steven Spielberg that he was inspired to make Schindler's List). Blair unearths a 1980 interview with the only surviving member of the Frank family, Anne's father, Otto, who offers an unpublished portion of her diary. Blair also discovers previously unseen footage of her watching a 1941 wedding, the only known film of Anne to exist; it's a brief, but breathtaking image of a girl who inspired the world. Blair also interviews Peter Pepper, who hid with the Franks, and Hanneli Goslar, who befriended Anne and her sister at camp and depicts the Frank girls' last days. The most potent interview, though, is with Miep Gies, Otto's employee who risked her life to help the Franks. Gies, modest and not completely comfortable on camera, is so likable that she seems to embody Anne's touching words, spoken amidst the horror of their lives: "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart." Kenneth Branagh narrates and Glenn Close reads Anne's diary excerpts.


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Posted ImageMaya Lin - A Strong Clear Vision (Winner 1994)

It was for good reason this film won the 1995 Academy Award for Best Documentary, as it displays, in abundance, the emotional human responses Maya Lin elicits with her architectural designs and sculpture. There was much controversy surrounding her Vietnam War Memorial, not the least of which focused on her Chinese-American origins. Writer/director Freida Lee Mock uses conventional methods (interviews, archival footage) to follow Lin's career in chronological order. It examines her work since winning the contest in which her student model was chosen for the infamous Washington war memorial. The stark emotion evoked by Lin's sensuous and kinetic creations promises to bring tears to your eyes. Unfortunately, we learn more about her work than about the artist, whose personality is oddly absent from this film. Mock only somewhat reveals the intense focus and powerful vision that drives Lin.

Release date 5/27/2003.


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Posted Image I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School (Winner 1993)

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Winner of the Academy Award® for Best Documentary and widely celebrated on the HBO hit series America Undercover, I AM A PROMISE has been applauded by The New York Times as a "strong documentary… unsparing yet tender." Directed by the innovative, award-winning team of Alan and Susan Raymond (An American Family), I AM A PROMISE paints an unflinching verité portrait of the children of Stanton Elementary School in North Philadelphia, an inner-city neighborhood where 90% of the students live below the poverty line. As seen through the viewpoint of devoted principal Deanna Burney, the film shows Stanton as grossly underfunded, understaffed, and filled with children struggling to overcome their difficulties. For these at-risk kids, however, the hope for their future survives only in the success of their education. Astoundingly relevant today, I AM A PROMISE imparts a poignantly captivating series of vignettes concerning children growing up outside the American dream, echoing current "hot-button" issues in our country's ongoing political discussion. DVD Features: Commentary Featuring the Filmmaker and Principal Deanna Burney; Filmmaker Biographies; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Amazon
Posted Image1992: The Panama Deception
Posted ImageAmerican Dream (Winner 1990)

Director Barbara Kopple's Oscar-winning rendering of a crippling strike at a Minnesota meat-packing plant may look dated, but the underlying theme of individuals crushed by big business remains all too timely. Using a briskly engrossing combination of first-person interviews, news broadcasts, and fly-on-the-wall encounters, Kopple creates an indelible document of a community's dissolution at the hands of larger forces. (The film is clearly on the side of the workers, but at the same time it refuses to ignore the petty infighting that eventually helped contribute to their ruin.) An alternately depressing, uplifting, and often profanely funny film that, at times, echoes Michael Moore's Roger and Me , but without that movie's distancing smarm. A movie's title has never seemed quite so bitterly apt. The director, who had previously won an Oscar for the equally arresting Harlan County USA, would later go on to document yet another traumatic event with Woody Allen's Wild Man Blues.

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Posted ImageCommon Threads - Stories from the Quilt (Winner 1989)

As of 2004, a variety of drugs have been developed to resist, if not cure, AIDS--yet Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt remains as emotionally powerful as it was during the height of the crisis, when people were dying by the thousands every year. With a combination of photo-montages, interviews with friends and family members, home movies, and news footage, this 1989 documentary captures the grief of those who have survived victims of AIDS. It's wrenching to hear the mother of a hemophiliac boy describing giving him blood transfusions in the middle of the night, or seeing pictures of a former Olympic athlete with the daughter he fathered with a lesbian mother, or hearing a Naval officer describe his relief when he learned that he, like his dead lover, had the virus--that the stress of waiting was over. A moving combination of art and politics.

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Posted Image1988: Hotel Terminus
Posted Image1987: The Ten-Year Lunch
Posted Image1986: Down and Out in America
Posted Image1985: Broken Rainbow
Posted ImageThe Times of Harvey Milk (Winner 1984)

A devastatingly skillful and emotionally compelling documentary, The Times of Harvey Milk charts the political rise and brutal slaying of the first openly gay city official in the United State, Harvey Milk. Ironically, the same election that brought Milk to the board of city supervisors of San Francisco also elected the man who killed him, a former police officer and fireman named Dan White. After White shot both Mayor George Moscone and Milk, his defense lawyers convinced the jury that White's judgment was impaired by depression and junk food, resulting in a conviction for manslaughter instead of murder--a verdict that prompted riots. With care and conviction, The Times of Harvey Milk captures not only Milk himself, but also the political and social landscape in which these events took place. The interviews--with friends, politicians, and journalists--are articulate and heartfelt, expressing the impact that Milk had upon this historical moment.

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Posted Image1983: He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'
Posted Image1982: Just Another Missing Kid
Posted Image
Genocide (Winner 1981)



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Posted ImageFrom Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China (Winner 1980)

Murray Lerner's Oscar-winning film From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China chronicles with affection and intelligence the great violinist's 1979 visit to China. Stern had accepted the government's invitation to attend a rehearsal and give one recital but instead wound up playing a formal concert, touring two cities, and teaching many master classes due to his overwhelming love for music and even more so for the musicians he met, some as young as 10. Communicating his instructions less through the translator than his energetically gleeful gestures and plosive vocalizations, Stern offers a wealth of technical tips, bowing techniques, and motivational nuggets that all boil down to one theme: don't play the music, live it.

Not every moment is joyous; filmed shortly after the final dismantling of the Cultural Revolution, From Mao to Mozart offers a brief but harrowing portrait of Tan Shuzhen, a violinmaker imprisoned for over a year for the crime of crafting Western instruments. But after this remembrance of the past, the movie ends as it should, eyes and ears on the future, as adolescent cellist Wang Jian serenades the appreciative audience. A fascinating postscript, Musical Encounters, follows Stern's return to Beijing two decades later and catches up with Wang, now a successful recording artist, as well as others from the original film. Especially heartening is conductor Li Delun, wheeled onto the stage but still magisterial as he reteams with Stern to once again perform Mozart's Concerto in G; and through the music, two men raised a world apart who have met only twice in their lives are again made the best of friends.


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Posted ImageBest Boy (Winner 1979)

It came out of nowhere to win the best documentary Oscar in 1980, and by now Best Boy should be acknowledged as one of the finest documentaries in film history. Filmmaker Ira Wohl took as his subject his own cousin, 52-year-old Philly, a retarded man who had lived his entire life with his parents. Seeing the physical decline of the parents, Wohl suggested they prepare Philly for living away from home for the first time in his life. This process becomes a beautiful and soul-stirring (and even hilarious) experience, as the people in Philly's life become indelible characters. Many fiction films try to manufacture a kind of movie "magic" out of fantasy, but Best Boy finds it in tiny steps forward, the delicacy of family, and the joy of singing (you may never hear "If I Were a Rich Man" the same way again). Through it all, the irrepressible Philly emerges as a rich man in his own terms.

Twenty years after making Best Boy, Ira Wohl looked in again on his cousin Philly, now over 70 but still as sunny and fond of dessert as ever. Living in a home with other developmentally disabled people, Philly appears even more capable and content in the world. Wohl gets the idea to prepare Philly for his bar mitzvah--a little late in life, but nonetheless an important experience. Best Man doesn't have the deep emotional pull provided by Philly's parents from the first movie, although his loyal sister becomes an important figure in this one. But it's a very nice update on a memorable corner of the world.


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Posted Image[b]Scared Straight! (Winner 1978)

Their crimes included assault and battery, arson, auto theft, breaking and entering, and possession and distribution of narcotics. Although they were still minors, these juvenile delinquents were already on a one-way path to doing hard time. Hosted by Peter Falk (Columbo), the Oscar and Emmy award-winning SCARED STRAIGHT! recounts the day seventeen teenage lawbreakers spent inside the Rahway maximum security prison with the most dangerous criminals New Jersey had to offer. Calling themselves "the Lifers," these convicts gave the youths an in-your-face, no-holds-barred account about life in prison, sharing every ugly detail. Without a doubt, the teenagers’ experience that day changed the course of their lives forever. Now, for the first time on DVD, audiences can revisit SCARED STRAIGHT!, and see the lasting effects of the teenagers and convicts’ encounter in Scared Straight! 20 Years Later, hosted by Danny Glover. The day documented in SCARED STRAIGHT! was unforgettable--the question is, did it work? DVD Features: Scared Straight! 20 Years Later Hosted by Danny Glover; Filmmaker Biography; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection.


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Posted Image[b]Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did they Get Nineteen Kids? (Winner 1977)

An Academy Award® winner for Best Documentary Feature and wildly acclaimed upon its initial release, Who Are The Debolts? takes an intimate peek into the world of one extraordinary family that tackles adversity with compassion, joy, and perseverance. Not only do parents Bob and Dorothy have six kids from previous marriages, they have also opened up their hearts and home to thirteen disadvantaged and handicapped children. What results is an amazing mix of diversity: they've taken in victims of the Vietnam War, a blind American boy, and a black girl born without limbs. Never sentimental, the film treats this multiethnic cast of kids as heroes who belie the stereotype of the handicapped. They go to school, do chores, and "hang out" while simultaneously navigating the difficulties of their disabilities. The story continues with the follow-up film Steppin’ Out With The Debolts, catching up with the family five years later as the kids grapple with adolescence. Director John Korty skillfully captures the boundless possibility of the individual human will and the importance of family and friendship. Who Are The Debolts? is a classic that stands the test of time with its joyous, uplifting message.

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Posted Image[b]Harlan County, U.S.A. (Winner 1976)

This film documents the coal miners' strike against the Brookside Mine of the Eastover Mining Company in Harlan County, Kentucky in June, 1973. Eastovers refusal to sign a contract (when the miners joined with the United Mine Workers of America) led to the strike, which lasted more than a year and included violent battles between gun-toting company thugs/scabs and the picketing miners and their supportive women-folk. Director Barbara Kopple puts the strike into perspective by giving us some background on the historical plight of the miners and some history of the UMWA. .

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Posted Image[b]The Man Who Skied Down Everest (Winner 1975)

This incredible, award-winning film features adventurer, poet and world-champion skier Yuichiro Miura as he and his team face the most challenging climb in the world, Mt. Everest. The ascent is fraught with tragedy, the descent miraculous. During the climb, they face an icefall that claims the lives of six of their team, still considered the worst natural disaster accident in Himalayan history. With a 35mm Panavision film crew in tow, they continue on to the South Col, only 350 meters from the summit, where Miura put his life in the hands of the gods in his descent. Using oxygen and a parachute to slow his speed, Miura skied 7,000 feet over sheer ice and rocks. Unbalanced by the gusting winds, he hit a boulder and fell 1,320 feet, smashing into rocks and ice ridges. A patch of snow was all that saved him, allowing his fall to end just moments away from the Bergshrund Crevasse. This final climax has been called the most exciting six minutes of film ever shot as Miura plummets helplessly down Everest's unforgiving icy slopes toward certain death. .

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Posted Image[b]Hearts and Minds (Criterion Collection #156)(Winner 1974)

A courageous and startling film, Peter Davis' landmark documentary Hearts and Minds unflinchingly confronts the United States' involvement in Vietnam. Using a wealth of sources-from interviews to newsreels to documentary footage of the conflict at home and abroad-Davis constructs a powerfully affecting portrait of the disastrous effects of war. Explosive, persuasive, and shocking, Hearts and Minds is an overwhelming emotional experience and the controversial winner of the 1974 Academy Award® for Best Documentary.

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Posted Image1973: The Great American Cowboy
Posted Image[b]Marjoe (Winner 1972)

The Academy-Award®-winning MARJOE is the ferocious and extraordinary chronicle of a firebrand evangelical preacher who wholeheartedly and humorously exposes himself as a fraud. An evangelist prodigy at the age of four, the film captures an adult Marjoe as he recounts how he discovered the seductions of the 60s counterculture and dropped out of preaching, only to return later, using his swaggering bravado, to woo Pentecostal audiences out of their offerings.

Directors Howard Smith and Sarah Kernochan follow Marjoe as he embarks on his "farewell to the faith tour," revealing the secrets of religious hucksterism. MARJOE is both a fiery baptism in the cynical waters of faith healing and evangelical fervor and a fascinating profile of a man who went from hellfire to hellraising.
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Posted Image1971: The Hellstrom Chronicle
Posted Image[b]Woodstock (Winner 1970)

The three-day Woodstock music festival in 1969 was the pivotal event of the 1960s peace movement, and this landmark concert film is the definitive record of that milestone of rock & roll history. It's more than a chronicle of the hippie movement, however; this is a film of genuine historical and social importance, capturing the spirit of America in transition, when the Vietnam War was at its peak and antiwar protest was fully expressed through the liberating music of the time. With a brilliant crew at his disposal (including a young editor named Martin Scorsese), director Michael Wadleigh worked with over 300 hours of footage to create his original 225-minute director's cut, which was cut by 40 minutes for the film's release in 1970. Eight previously edited segments were restored in 1994, and the original director's cut of Woodstock is now the version most commonly available on videotape and DVD.

The film deservedly won the Academy Award for Best Documentary, and it's still a stunning achievement. Abundant footage taken among the massive crowd ("half a million strong") expresses the human heart of the event, from skinny-dipping hippies to accidental overdoses, to unpredictable weather, midconcert childbirth, and the thoughtful (or just plain rambling) reflections of the festive participants. Then, of course, there is the music--a nonstop parade of rock & roll from the greatest performers of the period, including Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Canned Heat, The Who, Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Ten Years After, Sly & The Family Stone, Santana, and many more. Watching this ambitious film, as the saying goes, is the next best thing to being there--it's a time-travel journey to that once-in-a-lifetime event.


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Last Update: 3/5/2006 (added Harlan County, U.S.A. & March Of The Penguins)

#3 of 24 TimJS

TimJS

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Posted December 29 2004 - 11:07 AM



**15 Years of Academy Award Nominated Documentaries, DVD Availability Chart**

][/b]
2004-2005

Darwin's Nightmare
: Some time in the 1960's, in the heart of Africa, a new animal was introduced into Lake Victoria as a little scientific experiment. The Nile Perch, a voracious predator, extinguished almost the entire stock of the native fish species. However, the new fish multiplied so fast, that its white fillets are today exported all around the world.
Huge hulking ex-Soviet cargo planes come daily to collect the latest catch in exchange for their southbound cargo… Kalashnikovs and ammunitions for the uncounted wars in the dark center of the continent.
This booming multinational industry of fish and weapons has created an ungodly globalized alliance on the shores of the world’s biggest tropical lake: an army of local fishermen, World bank agents, homeless children, African ministers, EU-commissioners, Tanzanian prostitutes and Russian pilots.
NOT YET ON DVD: Official Site
Posted Image Enron - The Smartest Guys in the Room : Based on the best-selling book of the same name by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, a multidimensional study of one of the biggest business scandals in American history. The chronicle takes a look at one of the greatest corporate disasters in history, in which top executives from the 7th largest company in this country walked away with over one billion dollars, leaving investors and employees with nothing. The film features insider accounts and rare corporate audio and video tapes that reveal colossal personal excesses of the Enron hierarchy and the utter moral vacuum that posed as corporate philosophy. The human drama that unfolds within Enron's walls resembles a Greek tragedy and produces a domino effect that could shape the face of our economy and ethical code for years to come. DVD AVAILABLE :Amazon
Posted ImageMurderball: A film about quadriplegics who play full-contact rugby in Mad Max-style wheelchairs - overcoming unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.
DVD AVAILABLE:Amazon
Street Fight: Street Fight chronicles the bare-knuckles race for Mayor of Newark, N.J. between Cory Booker, a 32-year-old Rhodes Scholar/Yale Law School grad, and Sharpe James, the four-term incumbent and undisputed champion of New Jersey politics.
Fought in Newark's neighborhoods and housing projects, the battle pits Booker against an old style political machine that uses any means necessary to crush its opponents: city workers who do not support the mayor are demoted; "disloyal" businesses are targeted by code enforcement; a campaigner is detained and accused of terrorism; and disks of voter data are burglarized in the night.
Even the filmmaker is dragged into the slugfest, and by election day, the climate becomes so heated that the Federal government is forced to send in observers to watch for cheating and violence.
The battle sheds light on important American questions about democracy, power and -- in a surprising twist -- race. Both Booker and James are African-American Democrats, but when the mayor accuses the Ivy League educated Booker of not being "really black" it forces voters to examine both how we define race in this country. "We tell our children to get educated," one Newarker says, "and when they do, we call them white. What kind of a message does that send?"
Street Fight tells a gripping story of the underbelly of democracy where elections are not about spin-doctors, media consultants, or photo ops. In Newark, we discover, elections are won and lost in the streets.
DVD AVAILABLE (from Official Site):Official Site
2004-2005
Posted Image The Story Of The Weeping Camel : When a Mongolian camel gives birth to a rare white calf and then refuses to nurse it, the nomadic family that owns the herd tries desperately to keep the calf alive. They turn at last to a traditional remedy, enlisting the help of a musician to play a song that is said to make a mother camel weep and reclaim her child. DVD AVAILABLE :Amazon
Posted Image Super Size Me : Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock examines the effects of a steady diet of fast food by pledging to eat three meals a day at McDonald's for one month. After undergoing a series of medical exams prior to the experiment, Spurlock records both the physical and psychological repercussions of his new regimen. DVD AVAILABLE :Amazon
Posted Image Tupac: Resurrection: Drawing on hours of interviews and film footage, this portrait of gangsta rap star Tupac Shakur traces his brief life from his childhood with his mother, Black Panther Afeni Shakur, and his early musical promise to his meteoric rise as a recording artist and the many personal problems that dogged his success. DVD AVAILABLE :Amazon
Posted Image Twist Of Faith : When firefighter Tony Comes learns that the priest who sexually abused him as a boy lives just a few miles away, he decides he can no longer keep his past experience a secret. Comes's decision to acknowledge the trauma that has infected every aspect of his adult life forces him at last to confront emotions and fears he has long suppressed. DVD AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER:Amazon
2003-2004
Posted ImageBalseros : The story of Cuban refugees who risked their lives in homemade rafts to reach the United States, and what life is like for those who succeed. DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon
Posted Image My Architect: A Son's Journey: World-famous architect Louis Kahn (Exeter Library, Salk Institute, Bangladeshi Capitol Building) had two illegitimate children with two different women outside of his marriage. Son Nathaniel always hoped that someday his father would come and live with him and his mother, but Kahn never left his wife. Instead, Kahn was found dead in a men's room in Penn Station when Nathaniel was only 11. Nathaniel travels the world visitng his father's buildings and haunts in this film, meeting his father's contemporaries, colleagues, students, wives, and children.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon
Posted Image Capturing the Friedmans: Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middleclass Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD
Posted ImageThe Weather Underground: The remarkable story of The Weather Underground, radical activists of the 1960s, and of radical politics at its best and most disastrous.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD
2002-2003
Posted ImageDaughter From Danang: Separated at the end of the Vietnam war, an "Americanized" woman living in Pulaski, Tenn and her Vietnamese mother are reunited after 22 years. But what seems like the cue for a happy ending is anything but- the family finds themselves caught in a confusing clash of cultures and at the mercy of conflicting emotions.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon
Posted ImageLe Peuple migrateur: Documentary on the migratory patterns of birds, shot over the course of three years on all seven continents.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD
Posted Image Prisoner of Paradise: Portrait of a jewish film director, Kurt Gerron, who made a morally ambiguous choice to direct a Nazi propaganda film 'The Fuhrer Gives a City to the Jews' (1944) about the concentration camp of Theresienstadt, of which Gerron was an inmate. DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD
Posted ImageSpellbound: Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee. Within these stories, we discover not just the idiosyncratic personalities, their obsessional study habits, their sometimes heart-breaking, sometimes inspiring family dynamics, but the story of America itself.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD
2001-2002
Posted ImageChildren Underground: This astonishingly intimate documentary follows five homeless children in Romania, where the collapse of communism has led to a life on the street for 20,000 children.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD
Posted ImageLaLee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton: This documentary follows a Mississippi Delta school district and a single Delta family as they struggle against the crippling effects of poverty in the wake of more than one hundred years of slavery and sharecropping in the Delta.
NOT YET ON DVD. Official Site
Posted ImagePromises: Several Jewish and Palestinian children are followed for three years and put in touch with each other, in this alternative look at the Jewish-Palestinian conflict.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon
Posted Image
War Photographer
: Documentary about war photographer James Nachtwey, considered by many the greatest war photographer ever.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon
2000-2001

Legacy
: Documenting five years of the Collins family. The politically charged term “welfare family” takes on a human face in Legacy, a remarkable new documentary on the struggle of three generations of African American women to free themselves from welfare and poverty.
NOT YET ON DVD Official Site

Long Night's Journey Into Day
: This documentary tells four stories of Apartheid in South Africa, as seen through the eyes of the Truth and Reconciliation commission. White soldiers who have killed ANC activists, black activists who have killed whites in political attacks: can there be forgiveness when the full truth comes out?
NOT YET ON DVD Official Site
Posted Image
Scottsboro: An American Tragedy
: A penetrating documentary of America's racist and politically-charged climate, circa 1931-1950, focused on Scottsboro Alabama.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, PBS site
Posted ImageSound and Fury: SOUND AND FURY deals with the questions raised by the development of cochlear implants which can restore hearing for those with congenital deafness. Very few (if any) people in the hearing world would think this to be a bad thing, but within the deaf community some see this as encroaching technology which will eventually obliterate deaf culture and sign language.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge, Official Site, PBS site
1999-2000
Posted ImageBuena Vista Social Club: A group of legendary Cuban musicians, some as old as their nineties, were brought together by Ry Cooder to record a CD. In this film, we see and hear some of the songs being recorded in Havana. There is also footage from concerts in Amsterdam and New York City's Carnegie Hall. In addition, many of the individual musicians talk about their lives in Cuba and about how they got started in music.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge, Official Site, Artisan site
Posted ImageGenghis Blues: The extraordinary odyssey of a U.S. musician of Cape Verdean ancestry to Tannu Tuva, in central Asia, where nomadic people throat sing more than one note simultaneously, using vocal harmonics. A bluesman, Paul Pena, blind and recently widowed, taught himself throat singing and was by chance invited to the 1995 throat-singing symposium in Kyzyl.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, Lasersedge, Official Site
Posted ImageOn the Ropes: The story of three young boxers and their coach who is determined to guide them in a positive direction in and out of the ring.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted ImageSpeaking in Strings: Speaking in Strings by director Paola di Florio explores the posh and cloistered world of classical music by presenting us with the "bad girl" of the classical music scene. In this film, Florio reveals the hypocrisy of classical music by revealing to us one of its most profound players, Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg and all that the violinist endured in order to play the music she loves with total honesty.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, Lasersedge
1998-1999
Posted ImageDancemaker: This Oscar-nominated documentary takes viewers inside the dance company of renowned choreographer Paul Taylor. Not only does director Matthew Diamond's camera catch the intimate moments as dance director and dancer develop new steps, he manages to get inside the minds of his subjects to a surprising degree.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
The Farm: Angola, USA: Documentary depicting day to day life in Angola Prison mostly from an inmate's perspective. Interviews are with several inmates including one with a life sentence who is about to die.
NOT YET ON DVD.
Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth: In 1948, Lenny Bruce was just another comic who couldn't get arrested. By 1961, all that would change. Lenny Bruce: Dare to Tell the Truth" fleshes out the icon and presents Lenny as a human being. Following the chronology of Lenny's life from WWII till his premature death in 1965, the film is enhanced by interviews with Lenny's mother, ex-wife, daughter and associates. The film revisits Lenny Bruce's greatest triumphs and the depths of his tragedy.
NOT YET ON DVD.
Posted ImageRegret to Inform: In this film made over ten years, filmmaker Barbara Sonneborn goes on a pilgrimage to the Vietnamese countryside where her husband was killed. She and translator (and fellow war widow) Xuan Ngoc Nguyen explore the meaning of war and loss on a human level. The film weaves interviews with Vietnamese and American widows into a vivid testament to the legacy of war.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, Lasersedge, Official Site
1997-1998
Posted Image4 Little Girls: This film recounts the people and events leading up to the one of the most despicable hate-crimes during the height of the civil-rights movement, the bombing of the 16th Street Church in Birmingham, Alabama. In that attack, four little African-American girls lost their lives and a nation was simultaneously revolted, angered and galvanized to push the fight for equality and justice on.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted ImageAyn Rand: A Sense of Life: A substantive documentary on arguably the greatest philosopher since Aristotle. That this bio took so long in coming, attests to the slow recognition of her genius and supreme contribution to 20th century culure. It took a pioneer, a maverick, and a true hero to overcome the obstacles placed in her path. Thanks to her determination she succeeded, and we are the recipients.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge, Official Site
Posted ImageColors Straight Up: The non-profit organization, Colors United, teaches drama to a group of inner city kids. The culmination of the theater education is a musical called "Watts Side Story."
DVD Available for Pre-Order: Amazon
Posted ImageWaco: The Rules of Engagement: A controversial documentary about the stand-off between an unorthodox Christian group - the Branch Davidians, under the leadership of the young, charismatic David Koresh - and the FBI and ATF in Waco, Texas, from February to April 1993. Using footage from the 51 day siege, from the congressional hearings afterwards and from experts- the movie suggests that the Branch Davidians were not a cult, but a valid religious group practicing under First Amendment freedoms who fell victim to the FBI and ATF.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon
1996-1997
Posted ImageThe Line King: Al Hirschfeld: The childhood, adolescence, and incredible adult years of Al Hirshfeld, celebrated creator of thousands of line drawings of famous people - many in the entertainment industry - over a span of more than sixty years. His interesting domestic life, political, and cultural views are highlights. Brief interviews with, and reminiscences of many friends and associates.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD
Posted ImageMandela: A vibrantly presented and emotionally charged portrait of the dynamic African leader that captures Mandela's remarkable spirit. It follows him from his early days and tribal education through his work with the African National Congress to his election as Africa's first black president. Produced by Jonathan Demme, this wisely includes poetry of Africa, as much a part of Mandela's story as his own inner strength.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, Lasersedge
Posted ImageSuzanne Farrell: Elusive Muse: Romantic triangles. Unconsummated passion. Jealousy. Revenge. Just another day offstage at the New York City Ballet for ballerina Suzanne Farrell and her mentor, legendary choreographer George Balanchine. Elusive Muse traces the development of Farrell into an extraordinary performer while trying to define her passionate professional and personal relationship with "Mr. B."
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, Lasersedge
Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press: George Seldes was a journalist and leftist gadfly from the 1920s through the 1950s. He started his career working for the conservative Chicago Tribune and founded a newsletter called In Fact that reported the news the mainstream media ignored. Tell the Truth and Run is not only the story of Seldes struggle to inform, it's also the story of American journalism and its unholy marriage with corporate America.
NOT YET ON DVD. Official Site
1995-1996
Posted ImageThe Battle Over Citizen Kane: Chronicles the struggles between filmmaker Orson Welles and newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst over the making and release of Citizen Kane, whose protagonist (Charles Foster Kane) was allegedly a barely fictionalized Hearst. Interviews with contemporaries of Hearst and Welles reveal the intense campaign to suppress the film and ultimately ruin the career of its director. Included on the 2 disc version of Citizen Kane and also available seperately.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted ImageHank Aaron: Chasing the Dream: Documentary on Hank Aaron, produced by WTBS television. Emphasis not only on the man and his game, but the social and racial backdrop of the field on which he played.
NOT YET ON DVD.
Posted ImageSmall Wonders: A dedicated music teacher in East Harlem instructs a gaggle of underprivileged children in the art of the violin. In the climax, they play Carnegie Hall with some of the world's foremost fiddlers. Documentary included as extra on 2nd disc of Collector’s Series edn of Music of the Heart.
DVD AVAILABLE:
Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted ImageTroublesome Creek: A Midwestern: The Jordan family has farmed in Iowa for generations. But the farm crisis of the 1980s and 1990s catches up with them, and they are in danger of losing the farm. One of the daughters, a documentary filmmaker, comes back home to document the extraordinary efforts the family makes to keep their farm.
DVD AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER:
Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Official Site, PBS Site[/b]
1994-1995
Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter: This is a beautifully well made documentary that manages to portray the relationship between a daughter and her mother as it is affected by the progress of the mother's Alzheimers. It is a moving portrait that captures not only the difficulties but also the humor and reality of the process. Dutiful Daughter asks us to consider what's left of what we think of as our "self" after personal memories fade. It also explores the emotional impact of living with a mother who no longer knows who you are.
NOT YET ON DVD.
Posted ImageD-Day Remembered: An award-winning documentary of the invasion of Normandy in World War II, using rare archival films and pictures from British, American, and German archives. The narrator provides the overall continuity, but the voices of over 50 participants who were involved in the staging of the invasion in Britain or were on the beaches of France bring the images to life.
DVD AVAILABLE:
Amazon [/b]
Posted ImageFreedom on My Mind: Powerful documentary about the efforts to register disenfranchised blacks in early 1960s Mississippi, which led to the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and its challenge to the state's official--and all-white--representatives at the 1964 Democratic convention.
NOT YET ON DVD.
Posted ImageA Great Day in Harlem: Art Kane, now deceased, coordinated a group photograph of all the top jazz musicians in NYC in the year 1958, for a piece in Esquire magazine. Just about every jazz musician at the time showed up for the photo shoot which took place in front of a brownstone near the 125th street station. The documentary compiles interviews of many of the musicians in the photograph to talk about the day of the photograph, and it shows film footage taken that day by Milt Hinton and his wife.



DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, Lasersedge, Official Site
1993-1994
The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter: Every Wednesday night, from 1990 to 1992, hundreds of thousands of people tuned in to watch installments of the video diaries of a young physician with AIDS, known as Dr. Peter. Dr. Peter captured the hearts of viewers, and his sensitive accounts of life with AIDS moved and enlightened all of us. Explore the legacy of a man who helped change the face of AIDS.
NOT YET ON DVD.
Children of Fate: Life and Death in a Sicilian Family: In 1961, Robert Young and Michael Roemer shot a gritty documentary in Palermo's Cortile Cascino, a slum reserved for rag pickers and scavengers. Thirty years later, Young's son and daughter-in-law go back to Sicily to pick up the story of Angela Capra, her now ex-husband, and their children. Black and white footage from 1961 is intercut with color footage from the 90's. Much has changed: Angela's leaving her husband gives her a sense of rebirth. And much is the same: unemployment, petty crimes, and early death. Throughout, family members credit the power of "destina" (fate) to determine their lives.
NOT YET ON DVD.
For Better or for Worse: ????
NOT YET ON DVD.
Posted ImageThe War Room: A behind-the-scenes documentary about the Clinton for President campaign, focusing on the adventures of spin doctors James Carville and George Stephanopoulos. Bill Clinton himself is almost never seen.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
1992-1993
Changing Our Minds: The Story of Dr. Evelyn Hooker: Documentary about the nature and the modern western history of homosexuality. The narrative guides us from the establishment of institutionalised homophobic oppression in the early 20th century (with archival footage of electroconvulsive therapy and blackmail threats to college students) to the early 1990's when we started to achieve widespread recognition. This film shows that a key figure in that progression, Dr Evelyn Hooker.
NOT YET ON DVD.
Posted ImageFires of Kuwait: After Saddam Hussein had the Kuwait Oil wells lit up, teams from all over the world fought those fires for months. They had to save the oil resources, as well as reduce air pollution. The different teams developed different techniques of extinguishing the fires. From TNT-shockwaves blowing out the flames to Tank-mounted twin MIG-jet-engines (from Hungary) blasting away the flames (and nearly lifting the tank into the air), man's emergency creativity can be seen at it's best.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge, Official Site
Posted ImageLiberators: Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II: An account of Black American soldiers in World War II who combated racism in the segregated military and on the home front. In April 1945, some Black American soldiers were among the first 'liberators' to enter Nazi death camps, encountering the survivors described by one GI as "walking skeletons."
NOT YET ON DVD. Official Site
Posted ImageMusic for the Movies: Documentary exploration into the genius that was Bernard Herrmann. What can you say about the man whose first score is Citizen Kane and his last Taxi Driver? Provides a good overview of his turbulent personality as well as providing brief examples of his music. A must see for people interested in film music and a good foundation for establishing Bernard Herrmann as one of this centuries greatest composers.
NOT YET ON DVD.
1991-1992
Death on the Job: A poignant look at the wrecked lives of workers and their families in the aftermath of senseless, preventable industrial injuries. Three major sections feature, commercial fishing fleets, construction workers and oil & chemical workers. Academy Award Nomination 1991, Best Documentary Feature. Produced and directed by Vince DiPersio and William Guttentag.
NOT YET ON DVD.
Doing Time: Life Inside the Big House: This film is a hard-edged look at life inside the walls of Lewisburg maximum security federal penitentiary where rehabilitation and parole have all but been abandoned. 1991 Academy Award nominated Feature Documentary, EMMY Award.
NOT YET ON DVD.
The Restless Conscience: Resistance to Hitler Within Germany 1933-1945: Film recounts resistance to Hitler from 1933 until the July 1944 attempt on Hitler's life, when all unraveled. Interviews with widows of some of the conspirators & with people the conspirators helped out of Germany.
NOT YET ON DVD.
Posted ImageWild by Law: The story behind the 1964 Wilderness Act is the subject of this engrossing documentary. It profiles three men who fought together and separately were at the heart of a historic struggle to preserve America's natural landscape. By the middle of the 20th century, much of America's natural beauty had been overtaken by urban sprawl and development. Wild by Law is the follow-up to the earlier film The Wilderness Idea. In this engaging documentary, as in the previous film, the role of dedicated individuals is shown as integral to the idea, and reality, of preservation.
NOT YET ON DVD.
1990-1991
Posted ImageBerkeley in the '60s: The 1960's alumni of the Berkeley campus tell their stories about how the quiet school became the site of massive political activism on the part of students fighting for their right of political expression on campus and then against the Vietnam War.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD
Building Bombs: The inhabitants of a small town are faced with disturbing choices when a nuclear weapons plant is built in their backyard. A tragic documentary narrated by Jane Alexander.
NOT YET ON DVD.
Forever Activists: Stories from the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Judith Montell ’s documentary explores the lifelong activism of the American men and women who fought in the Spanish Civil War. Through personal stories spanning over half a century, these veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade reveal their abiding commitment to issues of freedom and social justice.
NOT YET ON DVD.
Waldo Salt: A Screenwriter's Journey: Story of Waldo Salt, known for writing MIDNIGHT COWBOY, but was also blacklisted from Hollywood for 15 years. In April of 1951 Salt was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee -- Senator Joseph McCarthy's brainchild for the investigation of Communist infiltration of America. Though never held in contempt of Congress, like a number of other colleagues, Salt was clearly identified as a card-carrying Communist and blacklisted for many years.
NOT YET ON DVD.
Pre 1990 Nominated Films Available on DVD
(A list of only 1970-1990 nominees that have been released and are available on DVD)
Posted ImageFor All Mankind (1989): This movie documents the Apollo missions perhaps the most definitively of any movie under two hours. Al Reinert watched all the footage shot during the missions--over 6,000,000 feet of it, and picked out the best. Instead of being a newsy, fact-filled documentary. Reinart focuses on the human aspects of the space flights. The only voices heard in the film are the voices of the astronauts and mission control. Reinart uses the astronaunts' own words from interviews and from the mission footage. The score by Brian Eno underscores the strangeness, wonder, and and beauty of the astronauts' experiences--experiences which they were privileged to have for a first time "for all mankind."
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted ImageUnfinished Business (1986): In the spring of 1942, more than 110,000 American citizens of Japanese ancestry were uprooted from their homes and businesses and incarcerated in desolate relocation camps. Without hearings or trials, men, women and children were evacuated under Executive Order 9066--the Wartime Relocation Act. UNFINISHED BUSINESS is the story of three Japanese-American resistors--Gorden Hirabayashi, Fred Korematsu, and Minoru Yasui--who courageously defied the government order and refused to go, resulting in their conviction and imprisonment. The film interweaves their personal stories with moving archival footage of wartime anti-Japanese hysteria, the evacuation and incarceration, and life at the camps. It captures the men 40 years later, fighting to overturn their original convictions in the final round of the battle against the act which shattered the lives of two generations of Japanese-Americans. Produced and directed by Academy Award-winner Steven Okazaki (Days of Waiting), UNFINISHED BUSINESS is a gripping study of one of the most tragic--and significant--periods in American history. DVD Features: Bonus Archival Film: Japanese Relocation; Filmmaker Biography; Resources; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted ImageStatue Of Liberty (1986): Documentary showing the history of the world-famous Statue of Liberty in New York harbor. DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted Image Marlene (1985): The Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary, directed by Maximilian Schell. After years of public silence, the legendary Marlene Dietrich personality selected Schell to make an interview film about her. "Marlene" is no standard movie star documentary. It is a mystery story, a discourse on truth and fiction, a battle with a sacred monster, a caustic comedy of errors, and the story of the making of a film, all rolled into one.

DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted Image Brooklyn Bridge (1982): This documentary chronicles the world famous Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted ImageThe Day After Trinity (1980): Scientists and witnesses involved in the creation and testing of the first ever atomic bomb reflect on the Manhattan project and its fascinating leader, J. Robert Oppenheimer, who upon completion of his wonderful and horrible invention became a powerful spokesperson against the nuclear arms race.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted ImagePeople of the Wind (1976): There are two hundred miles of raging rivers and dangerous mountains to cross. There are no towns, no roads, no bridges. There is no turning back. The Bakhtiari migration is one of the most hazardous tests of human endurance known to mankind. Every year, 500,000 men, women and children - along with one million animals - struggle for eight grueling weeks to scale the massive Zagros Mountains in Iran - a range which is as high as the Alps and as broad as Switzerland - to reach their summer pastures. The film's astonishing widescreen photography and brilliantly recorded soundtrack take the viewer out onto the dangerous precipices of the Zardeh Kuh mountain and into the icy waters of the Cholbar River.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted ImageAntonia - A Portrait of the Woman (1974): Hour-long documentary about the first woman to ever conduct a symphony orchestra, Dr. Antonia Brico. Brico describes her unhappy childhood with a spiritualist mother and her early career in classical music. A legitimately feminist saga, back when the feminist struggle actually meant something.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted Image Malcolm X: His Own Story as it Really Happened (1973): This 1972 documentary tribute to the life and work of the assassinated Black Muslim leader Malcolm X was poorly received at the time of its release. However, it has grown in importance as Malcolm's place in African American history has grown. The backbone of the documentary is based on The Autobiography of Malcolm X. This documentary, made with the help of the Malcolm's wife Betty Shabazz, recounts the life and ideas of this controversial man. James Earl Jones, Ossie Davis and Steve Benderoth provide the narration. In addition to clips of Malcolm X in public interviews and speeches, numerous important civil rights figures are featured, as well as important public officials from the period. Documentary included as extra on 2nd disc of Two-Disc Special edn of Spike Lee’s 1992 film Malcolm X.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted ImageThe Sorrow and the Pity (Le grin et la pitié) (1972): Often hailed as one of the greatest documentaries of all time, telling the story of France under Nazi occupation by weaving together a number of interviews as well as newsreel clips and propaganda films shot by the Nazis. The Sorrow and the Pity lives up to its reputation as being a magnificent documentary.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted ImageOn Any Sunday (1971): A documentary following the lives of motorcycle racers and racing enthusiasts, including actor Steve McQueen. First asking the question "Why do they do it?" this film looks at the people who devote (and sometimes risk) their lives to racing on tracks and off-road courses around the world.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted ImageChariots of the Gods Erinnerungen an die Zukunft(1970): Documentry based on the book by Erich Von Daniken concerning the ancient mysteries of the world, such as the pyramids of Egypt and Mexico, ancient cave drawings, the monuments of Easter Island, etc. and the fact that these things and modern civalization could have been influenced by extra terrestrial visitations hundreds(or perhaps thousands) of years ago.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted ImageIn The Year Of The Pig (1970): Produced at the height of the Vietnam War, Emile de Antonio’s Oscar®-nominated 1968 documentary chronicles the war’s historical roots. With palpable outrage, De Antonio (Point of Order, Underground) assembles period interviews with journalists, politicians, and key military personnel and international newsreel and archival footage to create a scathing chronicle of America’ escalating involvement in this divisive conflict. The savage and horrific images speak for themselves in perhaps the most controversial film of de Antonio’s career, and the film he cites as his personal favorite. [b]DVD AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge


Last Activity: Added Scottsboro & Troublesome Creek & 2005 Noms

#4 of 24 TimJS

TimJS

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Posted December 29 2004 - 11:37 AM

Here is a preliminary listing of 'other' Awards. I may link to IMDB or Amazon/retail.

IDA - International Documentary Association

Annual Feature Awards

2005 - Favela Rising & Our Brand is Crisis
2004 - Fahrenheit 9/11 & Born Into Brothels
2003 - Balseros & The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
2002 - Mai's America & Señorita extraviada
2001 – Children Underground & Startup.com
2000 - Gulag & Swedish Tango
1999 - On The Ropes & A Place Called Chiapas
1998 - Dancemaker & Little Dieter Needs to Fly
1997 - Donka, radioscopie d'un hôpital africain & Waco: The Rules of Engagement
1996 - Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern (1995) & War Within: A Portrait of Virginia Woolf, The
1995 - Crumb & Diablo nunca duerme, El &
Eternity
1994 - Black Harvest & Freedom on My Mind & Hoop Dreams & I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School & Moving the Mountain
1993 - Intimate Stranger & Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg, The & Silverlake Life: The View from Here & Something Within Me
1992 - Brief History of Time, A & Dream Deceivers: The Story Behind James Vance Vs. Judas Priest & Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse & History and Memory: For Akiko and Takashige
1991 - Absolutely Positive & American Dream & Color Adjustment &
Soldiers of Music
1990 - Adam Clayton Powell & Berkeley in the '60s & Hello, Do You Hear Us? Red Hot & Paris Is Burning & Roger & Me
1989 - Chasseurs de miel & For All Mankind & Let's Get Lost & Twilight City & Who Shot President Kennedy?
1988 – Broken Noses & Nadie escuchaba &
Thin Blue Line, The & Who Killed Vincent Chin?
1987 - Chasing a Rainbow: The Life of Josephine Baker & Threat & Thy Kingdom Come... Thy Will Be Done & Vai viegli but jaunam?
1986 - Bacio di Tosca, Il & Jacques Cousteau: The First 75 Years & Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, Las & Shoah & Soldiers in Hiding & Sun City/The Making of Sun City
1985 - 16 Days of Glory & 28 Up & America and Lewis Hine & George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey & Times of Harvey Milk, The

National Board of Review Awards
2005 - March of the Penguins
2004 - Born into Brothels
2003 - The Fog of War
2002 - Bowling for Columbine
2001 - The Endurance
2000 - The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg
1999 - Buena Vista Social Club
1998 - Wild Man Blues
1997 - Fast, Cheap & Out of Control
1996 - Paradise Lost
1995 - Crumb

Director's Guild of America

2005 Grizzly Man
2004 The Story Of The Weeping Camel
2003 My Architect
2002 The Smith Family
2001 Startup.com
2000 High School Boot Camp
1999 On the Ropes
1998 Vietnam: Long Time Coming
1997 Riding the Rails
1996 Looking for Richard
1995 Crumb
1994 Hoop Dreams
1993 Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson
1992 Brother's Keeper
1991 American Dream

Los Angeles Film Critics Association

2005 - Grizzly Man
2004 - Born Into Brothels
2003 - The Fog of War
2002 - The Cockettes
2001 - The Gleaners And I
2000 - Dark Days
1999 - Buena Vista Social Club
1998 - The Farm: Angola USA
1997 - Riding the Rails
1996 - When We Were Kings
1995 - Crumb
1994 - Hoop Dreams
1993 - It's All True
1992 - Black Harvest
1991 - American Dream
1990 - Paris is Burning and Portraits of the Oldworld
1989 - Roger & Me
1988 - Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie

#5 of 24 TimJS

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Posted December 29 2004 - 11:38 AM

This will be for non-theatrical docs...Ken Burns's Civil War, Vietnam: A Television History, etc.

#6 of 24 Gordon McMurphy

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Posted January 02 2005 - 08:34 AM

Werner Herzog...

Land of Silence and Darkness (1971)

Preacher Trilogy:
Huie's Sermon (1980)
God's Angry Man (1980)
Faith and Currency (1980)

Ballad of the Little Soldier (1984)

The Dark Glow of the Mountains (1984)

Les Gauloises (1988)

Echoes From a Somber Empire (1990)

Bells from the Deep: Faith and Superstition in Russia (1993)


#7 of 24 Al Stuart

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Posted January 02 2005 - 08:41 AM

Note that Small Wonders (1995-96 nominee) is available on DVD, via the 2 disc version of Music of the Heart, on disc 2. The Streep/Craven film was loosely based on the documentary and so it was included as an extra.

http://www.amazon.co....v=glance&s=dvd

#8 of 24 Vince Maskeeper

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Posted January 04 2005 - 09:19 AM

Looks like the Errol Morris stuff (Thin Blue Line, Vernon Florida and Gates of Heaven) will be out within the month:
http://www.hometheat....hreadid=217681

Great News!

-V
Need an introduction to home theater? Check out our FAQ and Primer!!

#9 of 24 TimJS

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Posted January 08 2005 - 02:43 PM

**15 Years of Director’s Guild of America Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentaries, DVD Availability Chart**
Posted Image
Grizzly Man (Winner 2005)

In his mesmerizing new film, acclaimed director Werner Herzog explores the life and death of amateur grizzly bear expert and wildlife preservationist Timothy Treadwell, who lived unarmed among grizzlies for 13 summers.

Reel.com, IMDB, Amazon

Posted Image
The Story Of The Weeping Camel (Winner 2004)

When a Mongolian camel gives birth to a rare white calf and then refuses to nurse it, the nomadic family that owns the herd tries desperately to keep the calf alive. They turn at last to a traditional remedy, enlisting the help of a musician to play a song that is said to make a mother camel weep and reclaim her child.

Reel.com, IMDB, Amazon

Posted Image
My Architect: A Son's Journey (Winner 2003)

World-famous architect Louis Kahn (Exeter Library, Salk Institute, Bangladeshi Capitol Building) had two illegitimate children with two different women outside of his marriage. Son Nathaniel always hoped that someday his father would come and live with him and his mother, but Kahn never left his wife. Instead, Kahn was found dead in a men's room in Penn Station when Nathaniel was only 11. Nathaniel travels the world visitng his father's buildings and haunts in this film, meeting his father's contemporaries, colleagues, students, wives, and children.


Reel.com, IMDB, Amazon

Posted Image2002: The Smith Family
Posted ImageStartup.com (Winner 2001)

Directors Chris Hegedus (The War Room) and Jehane Noujaim couldn't have imagined the drama that awaited when they began documenting the creation of the pioneering e-commerce site govWorks.com. For over a year they followed the company, the brainchild of childhood-friends-turned-business-partners software geek and doting single dad Tom Herman, and ambitious young business-school-grad-turned-company-CEO Kaleil Isaza Tuzman. During the rise of the Internet investment frenzy and the subsequent crash of the dot-economy, the cameras remain keyed into the human dynamic: the lifestyle compromises, the personal sacrifices, and the clash of philosophies and personalities that ultimately tear boyhood buddies Tom and Kaleil apart...almost. Startup.com's portrait of the cutthroat nature of American business culture and the choices one makes (or doesn't) to succeed poses the one question most documentaries ignore: Is it worth it?

Reel.com, IMDB, Lasersedge, Amazon

Posted Image High School Boot Camp (Winner 2000)

Wake up call is 4 a.m. Entertainment is a bucket of ice water on your head. Welcome to boot camp! Winner of the prestigious DGA award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary, HIGH SCHOOL BOOT CAMP is an eye-opening look at the controversial world of a youth boot camp. Award-winning filmmaker Chuck Braverman takes us through an intensive six-month drill at the Eagle Acadmeny in rural Belle Glade, Florida, where another class of "at-risk" youths has voluntarily enlisted in the hopes of getting back on track. But as these cocky recruits approach on the inbound bus, they have no idea what’s in store for them. Can they endure such tough discipline? Will they survive the Marine-type training? What exactly will it take to change their self-destructive ways? It’s not exactly summer camp--but for these kids and their families, it may be their last hope.

IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Amazon

Posted Image On the Ropes (Winner 1999)

That every cliché and stereotype has some basis in fact is axiomatic. Boxing movies have long relied on archetypes such as the tough-but-big-hearted trainer who acts as a mentor, the crooked promoter, the hard-nosed kid who fights his way from the streets to the top. On the Ropes has all of these, but the kicker is this film isn't fiction; this is a remarkable documentary that follows three young boxers, George, Noel, and Tyrene, in and out of the ring as they struggle with tough circumstances in their Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood while they train relentlessly for the Golden Gloves. Trainer Harry Keitt has his share of problems as well, going from a pro career and a stint as sparring partner for Muhammad Ali to crack addiction, homelessness, and jail, then taking up coaching as a road to redemption. A peek inside the personal lives of the three young athletes shows them to be tough but vulnerable kids, likable, courageous, and incredibly determined to see their way out of Brooklyn via a boxing career (there's another of those clichés come to life). As the three progress and move beyond the Bed-Stuy Boxing Center, Keitt must cope with seeing them leave his sphere of influence and move on. Filled with warm and very human characters, On the Ropes is a first-rate documentary and a behind-the-scenes look at a sports world that few of us ever see.

Reel.com, IMDB, Lasersedge, Amazon

Posted Image1998: Vietnam Long Time Coming
Posted Image Riding the Rails (Winner 1997)

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and perhaps no time in America's history has been so desperate as the Great Depression. Hundreds of thousands of young men and women left home seeking work and money wherever they could find it, and many of them took to hopping trains as a means of cheap, speedy (though by no means safe) travel. Riding the Rails lets survivors tell their stories of thrills, humiliation, and boredom from a distance of 60 years. You'll be amazed at the strength and determination of these folks to survive the difficult times, and find their reminiscences beautiful, sometimes angry, sometimes poetic. Contemporary newsreel footage and songs from such depression-era chroniclers as Woody Guthrie and Jimmie Rodgers make the 1930s come alive and evoke the vitality and suffering of a generation.

Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Amazon

Posted ImageLooking For Richard (Winner 1996)

A workshop of William Shakespeare's Richard III inspires actor-director Al Pacino's breezy documentary, which aims to make the playwright accessible to contemporary American audiences. Though a noteworthy cast of stage actors and Hollywood stars (including Kevin Spacey, Winona Ryder, and Alec Baldwin) gathers to work on the play, Looking for Richard does not present a straightforward filmed version of the scheming, deformed king's rise and fall. Instead, Pacino turns the cameras on the rehearsal process and his own exploration of Shakespeare's history and meaning. Scenes in full costume alternate with readings in street clothes, while interviews gather the opinions on the Bard of everyone from renowned scholars and Shakespearean actors to random New Yorkers. A trip to England allows brief visits to Shakespeare's birthplace and the Globe Theater, but Pacino's focus remains on the United States and his desire to prove that American actors can act the plays without mimicking their British counterparts. Clearly a labor of love for Pacino, the film benefits from his passionate persona and direct, no-nonsense attitude; while the performances may vary in quality, the film manifests a refreshingly casual, unpretentious, and enthusiastic approach to Shakespeare.

IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Amazon

Posted Image Crumb (Winner 1995)

Robert Crumb is known for his disturbing, yet compelling, underground cartoons: his most famous works made countercultural icons out of Mr. Natural ("Keep on Truckin'...") and Fritz the Cat. Terry Zwigoff delves into the odd world of the cartoonist in his documentary film Crumb, and the picture that emerges is not always pretty--at moments, it's almost repellent--but it's a fascinating glimpse into a very strange mind. Interviewing immediate family--Crumb has one suicidal brother, one semi-psychopathic brother, two sisters who declined to be interviewed, and a tyrannical mother--Crumb begins to look a bit saner. Given his surroundings, it's remarkable that he has survived so well. His hostilities toward women may turn some viewers off, but his wife, Aline, seems to be a grounding point, and she provides a solid counterbalance to the man. No one shies away from discussing incredibly intimate things (namely, sex!), which explains much of R. Crumb's cartoons. This documentary can definitely be considered a masterpiece for the cult crowd, and as for the rest of us, it's sure to make us feel a little better about our own lives!

Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Lasersedge, Amazon
Posted ImageHoop Dreams (Winner 1994)

A highly acclaimed, Oscar-overlooked documentary about the hopes and dreams of two inner city youths who see basketball, and especially acceptance to a school known for its outstanding basketball program, as their ticket out of poverty. Appearances by Isiah Thomas, Dick Vitale, Spike Lee and Bobby Knight. Academy Award Nominations: Best Film Editing. Winner of the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.


Reel.com, IMDB, pre-order @ Deepdiscountdvd, Lasersedge, pre-order @ Amazon

Posted Image1993: Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson
Posted Image Brother's Keeper (Winner 1992)

One of the best films of 1992, this acclaimed documentary focuses on the alleged murder in June 1990 of 64-year-old Bill Ward by his brother Delbert, 59, a simple dairy farmer whose defense became a rallying cause for the citizens of Munnsville, a tiny farming community in central New York. Known by all of Munnsville as harmless hermits, the Ward brothers (also including Lyman and Roscoe) live an 18th-century lifestyle in their tiny, grimy shack, sleeping in the same bed through cold winters and tending daily to their hayfields and livestock. Semiliterate and stunted by minimal exposure to the outside world, the Wards are disheveled children in the bodies of aging men; and when Delbert is charged with suffocating his ailing brother Bill, he's a prime target for legal manipulation and a media circus that's immediately drawn to his case. Filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky spent nearly a year with the Wards and the Munnsville citizens who rallied to Delbert's defense, and their efforts prove that reality is often more compelling than even the richest fictional drama. As a slice-of-life study of eccentricity, country-folk stereotypes, small-town wisdom, and the power of the media, Brother's Keeper is funny, fascinating, and full of compassionate humanity. It's also a riveting courtroom mystery with characters that no casting director could improve upon, tracking the course of justice while leaving the viewer to mull over the truth behind Delbert Ward's alleged crime.


Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Lasersedge, Amazon

Posted Image[b]American Dream (Winner 1991)

Director Barbara Kopple's Oscar-winning rendering of a crippling strike at a Minnesota meat-packing plant may look dated, but the underlying theme of individuals crushed by big business remains all too timely. Using a briskly engrossing combination of first-person interviews, news broadcasts, and fly-on-the-wall encounters, Kopple creates an indelible document of a community's dissolution at the hands of larger forces. (The film is clearly on the side of the workers, but at the same time it refuses to ignore the petty infighting that eventually helped contribute to their ruin.) An alternately depressing, uplifting, and often profanely funny film that, at times, echoes Michael Moore's Roger and Me , but without that movie's distancing smarm. A movie's title has never seemed quite so bitterly apt. The director, who had previously won an Oscar for the equally arresting Harlan County USA, would later go on to document yet another traumatic event with Woody Allen's Wild Man Blues.

[b]Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Lasersedge, Amazon



Latest update: 01/29/2006 – Grizzly Man added.

#10 of 24 TimJS

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Posted January 18 2005 - 08:59 AM

**International Documentary Association's "20 Best All-Time Documentaries"
DVD Availability Chart**
Posted Image
1. Bowling for Columbine (2002): Michael Moore explores the roots of America's predilection for murder and other violence and the connection to attitudes about guns and gun control compared to other countries. <more>
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted Image
2. The Thin Blue Line (1988): Errol Morris probes the 1976 murder of a Dallas policeman, and the wrongful conviction of one of the two men implicated in the killing. <more>
DVD Available for Pre-Order: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted Image
3. Roger & Me (1989): Michael Moore pursues GM CEO Roger Smith to talk about massive downsizing by the auto manufacturer and the effects on his hometown of Flint, Michigan. <more>
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted Image
5. Hoop Dreams (1994): Filmmaker Steve James follow the lives of two inner-city basketball players who harbor legitimate hopes of playing professional basketball. <more>
DVD AVAILABLE FOR ORDER(From Criterion): Amazon, Official Site
Posted Image
5. Salesman (1969): Albert and David Maysles follow four employees of a company that makes expensive, ornate, illustrated bibles as they attempt to sell the items door-to-door. <more>
DVD AVAILABLE (From Criterion): Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted Image
6. Nanook of the North (1922): Robert Flaherty documented one year in the life of Nanook, an Eskimo (Inuit) and his family. It is a story of life and love in the Arctic. <more>
DVD AVAILABLE (From Criterion): Amazon, Lasersedge
Posted Image
7. Night And Fog Nuit et brouillard (1955): Alain Resnais' probing remembrance of the Holocaust using contemporary images of the abandoned camp at Auschwitz along with newsreel footage of the atrocities that occurred there. <more>
DVD AVAILABLE (From Criterion): Amazon, Lasersedge
Posted Image
7. Harlan County, U.S.A. (1976): Barbara Kopple chronicles the fight of 190 coal mining families for dignity and fairness in Harlan County, Kentucky. <more>
AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER ON DVD: Amazon, Lasersedge,Official Site
Posted Image
9. Grey Gardens (1975): Albert and David Maysles document the story of the eccentric aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis who live in a world of their own in their decaying 28-room East Hampton mansion known as 'Grey Gardens'. <more>
DVD AVAILABLE (From Criterion): Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted Image
10. The Civil War (1990): Ken Burns compiles a nine-part series recounting the story of the most important event in American history through the heroic actions and poignant words of the people, great and small, who lived through it. <more>
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD
Posted Image
11. Crumb (1994): Director Terry Zwigoff chronicles the life and times of Robert Crumb, the cartoonist/artist who drew Keep On Truckin', Fritz the Cat, and played a major pioneering role in the genesis of underground comix. <more>
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted Image
12. Gimme Shelter (1970): Albert and David Maysles followed the ill-fated Rolling Stones free concert at Altamont Speedway in December 1969. <more>
DVD AVAILABLE (From Criterion): Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted Image
13. The Up Series (1963-1998): (6 Films: Seven Up!, 7 Plus Seven, 21, 28 Up, 35 Up, 42 Up). Michael Apted interviewed 14 British children, all age seven, but diverse in gender, race and economic background. Apted follows up with the children every seven years. <more>
DVD SET AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted Image
14. Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (1997): This film by Errol Morris interweaves the stories of four obsessive men, each driven to create eccentric worlds of their dreams, all involving animals. <more>
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted Image
Posted Image
15. Titicut Follies (1967): Frederick Wiseman chronicles life inside a Massachusetts institution for mentally ill convicts, and their abuse at the hands of the guards and doctors. The only American film banned from release for reasons other than obscenity or national security. After the Commonwealth of Massachusetts sued the filmmakers, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the film constituted was an invasion of privacy and ordered the withdrawal of the film from circulation. The film was banned in Massachusetts for decades and was largely unseen in other than very special educational screenings. Finally, in the early 90s, it was allowed a one-time-only showing on PBS (from which many bootlegs exist)-- but a DVD release is unlikely. A VHS educational veriosn is available from Zipporah for $500. <more>
NOT YET ON DVD: Amazon Book About This Film, Filmmaker's Website
Posted Image
16. When We Were Kings (1996): Director Leon Gast profiles the 1974 heavyweight championship bout in Zaire between champion George Foreman and underdog challenger Muhammad Ali. <more>
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted Image
17. American Movie: The Making of Northwestern (1999): Chris Smith documents aspiring filmmaker Mark Borchardt's three-year effort to produce a short horror film. <more>
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge
Posted Image
18. Shoah (1985): Claude Lanzmann directed this 9-1/2 hour documentary of the Holocaust by interviewing survivors, witnesses, and ex-Nazis (without using a single frame of archive footage). <more>
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, Lasersedge
Posted Image
19. The Man with a Movie Camera Chelovek s kinoapparatom (1929): Dziga Vertov travels around a Russian city, with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling inventiveness. Editions of this film have been released on DVD by Image, Kino, and Caroline.<more>
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon (Image Version), Amazon (Kino Version), Amazon (Caroline Version), DDD (Kino Version), Lasersedge (Kino Version)
Posted Image
20. Sherman's March (1986): Ross McElwee attempts to document the lingering effects of General Sherman's march of destruction through the South during the Civil War-- while continually being sidetracked by his personal life, his dreams of nuclear disaster, and Burt Reynolds. <more>
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge


Last Update: 05/31/2005 - Added Thin Blue Line

#11 of 24 TimJS

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Posted January 18 2005 - 09:03 AM

The IDA’s 2004 Pare Lorentz Award (The award is presented by the Pare Lorentz Foundation to one or more individuals whose work best represents the democratic sensibility, activist spirit and lyrical vision of the legendary documentarian) winning documentary Oil On Ice is available from www.oilonice.com for $19.95.

Oil On Ice examines the battle over oil development within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and how it affects the Gwich'in Athabascan Indians and Inupiat Eskimos who rely on wildlife in this area for subsistence.

I picked this one up as part of a free promotion from the Sierra Club & it’s not just a bare bones disc (includes Bonus interviews with Amory Lovins, Carl Pope and Wade Davis). When I retrieve it from loan I will fill in the remaining specs.

Tim

#12 of 24 Gordon McMurphy

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Posted March 13 2005 - 12:06 PM

Does anyone have Image's recent release of The Man Who Skied Down Everest? How is the transfer? Is it 2.35:1 anamorphic, as listed?

#13 of 24 oscar_merkx

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Posted March 14 2005 - 09:03 AM

wow what a great thread and will have more time to read and possible buy some of the dvds
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#14 of 24 TimJS

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Posted May 12 2005 - 11:43 PM

Does anyone have Image's recent release of The Man Who Skied Down Everest? How is the transfer? Is it 2.35:1 anamorphic, as listed?


According to DigitallyObsessed it is 2:35:1 anamorphic.

Tim

#15 of 24 TimJS

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Posted May 31 2005 - 05:54 AM

I have agreed to take over the maintenance of this page initially assembled by Vince Maskeeper (BIG round of applause for Vince).

In addition to the Vince’s Academy Awards Guide, I am reserving the first two slots in the thread for non-academy Award Doc Guides.

I am not a documentary film expert, Nor do I play one on TeeVee. If any of you have suggestions for improvement to any of the guides, feel free to pm me.

Let’s please keep the discussion on-topic. Off-Topic discussions such as whether a film/disc should be considered a legitimate documentary (vs. propaganda) should take place elsewhere on the forum.

Thank You,
Tim

#16 of 24 TimJS

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Posted June 20 2005 - 01:18 AM

UPDATE for May 31, 2005


I updated the Academy Noms (post No.3) to reflect availability of
Prisoner of Paradise, Colors Straight Up, & D-Day Remembered .
Don’t know how D-Day slipped thru, it’s a 2003 street disc, IMDB doesn’t show availability either.

I updated the IGN “20 Best All-Time” list (post No.10) to reflect availability of
The Thin Blue Line .

Be advised that Oil On Ice (post No.11) is available for Pre-Order (8/9/2005 street) from Amazon .

I missed Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst aka. Neverland: The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese Liberation Army when it aired on The American Experience recently, but this award-winning doc (Grand Jury Award: Florida Film Festival) is available from PBS .

Until next time, ponder this: now that Deep Throat has ‘outed’ himself, when will we get a decent doc on Watergate?

Tim


#17 of 24 oscar_merkx

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Posted June 20 2005 - 08:55 AM

thanks for keeping the list up to date
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#18 of 24 TimJS

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Posted July 12 2005 - 01:35 PM

UPDATE for June 20, 2005

I updated the Academy Award Winners (post No.2) to reflect availability of
I Am Promise .

I updated the Academy Noms (post No.3) to reflect availability of
Balseros for Pre-order.

Be advised that In The Shadow Of The Stars (Academy Award Winner '91) is coming from Docurama at the end of August.

Also, please note that one of the Werner Herzog titles requested by Gordon (post no. 6 below), Land Of Summer and Darkness , is due out from New Yorker on July 5th.

Tim


#19 of 24 TimJS

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Posted August 04 2005 - 03:16 PM

UPDATE for July 12, 2005

I updated the Academy Award Winners (post No.2) to reflect availability of In The Shadow Of The Stars .

Be advised that last years’s best documentary award winner, Born In Brothels will street on September 20th. It’s available for pre-order at several etailers, but cannot snag the artwork yet & some details are lacking, so will update table when those matters are cleared up. Here’s a synopsis:

A tribute to the resiliency of childhood and the restorative power of art, Born Into Brothels is a portrait of several unforgettable children who live in the red light district of Calcutta where their mothers work as prostitutes. Zana Briski, a New York-based photographer, gives each of these youngsters a camera and teaches them how to take pictures, simultaneously causing them to look at their world with new eyes. Together with Ross Kauffman, Briski captures the magical way in which beauty can be found in the most unlikely of places and how a bright and promising future becomes a possibility for children who previously had no future at all. Touching and heartfelt, yet devoid of sentimentality, Born Into Brothels defies the tear-stained tourist snapshot of the global underbelly.

In the ‘oldy, but goody’ category, be advised that Home Vision Entertainment will be streeting a couple of classic docs from Emile de Antonio on Sept. 20 as well. Details below (nom table update to follow):

In The Year Of The Pig

Produced at the height of the Vietnam War, Emile de Antonio’s Oscar®-nominated 1968 documentary chronicles the war’s historical roots. With palpable outrage, De Antonio (Point of Order, Underground) assembles period interviews with journalists, politicians, and key military personnel and international newsreel and archival footage to create a scathing chronicle of America’ escalating involvement in this divisive conflict. The savage and horrific images speak for themselves in perhaps the most controversial film of de Antonio’s career, and the film he cites as his personal favorite.

Special Features:
Audio commentary with director Emile de Antonio composed from archival sources
Interview with Emile de Antonio
Liner notes by de Antonio scholar Douglas Kellner
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

Point Of Order (1964)

(Selected for the National Film Registry in 1993)

The art of political theater was first introduced into Americans' homes when television cameras captured 188 hours over six weeks of the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings. Director Emile de Antonio (In the Year of the Pig, Underground) was able to acquire and assemble the footage from those landmark broadcasts to create Point of Order, one of the most riveting and seminal documentaries ever made. A devastating portrait of the legendary Senator Joseph McCarthy, this extraordinary Cold War-era film is the definitive documentary about television's coming of age, and its burgeoning role in exposing the abuse of power.

Spec Features:
Audio commentary with director Emile de Antonio composed from archival sources
Liner notes by de Antonio scholar Douglas Kellner
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

Also, please note that Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst (post no. 16 below) was delayed; Docurama has posted a 9/27 street date-this title should be available from most etailers).

Tim


#20 of 24 TimJS

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Posted December 24 2005 - 01:26 PM

UPDATE for August 4, 2005

Added
Academy Award Winners Born Into Brothels (2004) & Who Are The DeBolts (1977), Nom In The Year Of The Pig (1977), & DGA winner Looking For Richard (1996)

Other forthcoming releases of note:

Home Of The Brave–No awards/Noms known, just great reviews…
Home Vision
Streets: August 23, 2005

Viola Liuzzo, a 39-year-old mother of five, was the only white woman killed during the civil rights movement. Paola di Florio’s powerful and poignant documentary rescues from obscurity Liuzzo’s tragic untold story. Dramatic archival footage recaptures this turbulent era, and compelling interviews with her children paint a vivid portrait of a shattered family determined to uncover the truth about their mother's murder and the government’s campaign to smear her name. Narrated by Stockard Channing.

Monumental: David Brower’s Fight for Wild America– Nominated for the Environmental Media Association Awards, 2004; Goldie Award; Bay Guardian, 2004
Official Site
from First Run Features
Streets: September 20, 2005

From the moment David Brower first witnessed the extraordinary beauty of Yosemite Valley, his life was tied to the fight to preserve the American wilds for future generations. Not since John Muir has an American fought so hard or been more successful in protecting our natural heritage. At the center of the film are the themes that absorbed Brower throughout his life: the threatened beauty of the American earth, the spiritual connection between humans and the great outdoors, and the moral obligation to preserve what is left of the world’s natural wonders.


Shortcut to Nirvana– (Winner Best Doc – Sedora International Film Festival & Tiburon International Film Festival)
Official Site
from Zeitgeist
Streets: October 25, 2005

The Kumbh Mela is the biggest gathering of people in the history of humanity – although few in the West have ever heard of it. More than 70 million pilgrims attend this extraordinary spiritual festival, which has been held every 12 years near Allahabad, India, for over two millennia. A vast tent city is established to accommodate the masses, and many of India’s greatest gurus and spiritual leaders set up camp to give discourses to their devotees. On certain auspicious days everyone takes a holy dip at the confluence of two actual rivers - the Ganges and Yamuna - and a mythical river, the Saraswati. On the main bathing day, more than 25 million people bathe in the sacred waters. This single act of faith is believed to cleanse the sins of a thousand lifetimes and secure release from the endless cycle of rebirth – literally a short cut to the state of purest bliss…nirvana.

Also coming from First Run Features on Oct. 25, 2005, a look at the rise of the religious right; With God On Our Side.

Tim





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